Hana Yen M&T’19 interned at Breezio in Rockville, Maryland

2016 Startup Internship Award Winner Supported by the Rosalind (WG’76) and Roy (WG’76) Neff Entrepreneurial Internship Fund

This past summer, I had the pleasure of working as an intern at a startup with the profound mission to redefine what it means to engage around content by offering the platform for online collaboration unlike anything experienced before. I applied to the position under the pretenses that I would be serving as a Market Researcher compiling documentation of the company’s direct competitors, pricing, features, etc. However, the task that was projected to take me a good chunk of my summer was completed just after my second day. From there, my role within Breezio shifted from market researcher to designer to blogger to web designer to bug tracker to engagement analyzer and finally landed on ‘Jack of all trades.’ Working with such a small, committed group of four full time employees gave me first hand exposure to real world involvement and contribution. I was not just a member of their team but an integral part.

I found the position simply enough from a group listserv, which would have otherwise gone unnoticed if I had not caught the name of the job lister; it happened to be the CEO of Breezio, a name I recognized–Karen McCord. After a second of soul searching, I realized that Karen was the entrepreneur who had interviewed me prior to my acceptance into Penn. Reading further, I found the opportunity featured tasks I knew I could perform proficiently, so with not much to lose, I emailed Karen inquiring about the position. After several exchanges, we scheduled a video conference, and things took off there.

What seemed to an accidental arrangement by fate ended with perhaps my most rewarding summer to date. I spent my summer working in Breezio’s Rockville offices–just outside Washington, D.C. The first part of my time there consisted with meetings and interactions with the core team. Before long, Breezio took on four more summer interns from the University of Maryland Master program. Together, it was a true scrum team. Working on bug tracking, user analytics, user interface, usability, we transformed not just my understanding of agile method but also the working environment of Breezio.

After a few short months, I walked away from Breezio with more than I anticipated–armed with a newfound understanding, of my capabilities, of virtues of a team dynamic. For those who are interested in spending a summer working for a start-up, I can say from experience that there is only experiences to gain from such an involvement. It is with the help of Wharton Entrepreneurship Grant and M&T Fellowship Grant that I could follow through on such a rewarding opportunity, and I more than grateful for this pursuit. To find out more about Breezio, please visit their website here or visit their blog.